Renewable resources for polymers for use in personal care applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Chemistry


Human hair is naturally self-lubricated due the topmost layer of the hair fibres, the epicuticle, possessing a coating of (18 MEA) roughly 3 nm thick. The 18 MEA molecules are bound by thioester linkages to cysteine residues in the protein structure of the epicuticle. The primary aim is to synthesise a lubricating agent for the purpose of compensating for, or outright replacing, lost 18 MEA from hair strands damaged from bleaching or other treatments. A lubricating agent analogous to 18 MEA will be synthesised from hydrophobic methacrylate monomers, with polymerisation occurring via commercially used free radical polymerisation in naturally derived oils. In keeping with Unilever's philosophy of "naturalness", a secondary aim is to produce more eco-friendly products than the silicone based lubricants currently utilised by Unilever (dimethiconols and dimethicones)6. As such, the hydrophobic methacrylate monomers required will be produced by functionalising existing methacrylates with long chain alcohols derived from the hydrolysis of naturally occurring fatty acids. As stated above, the solvents used for CCTP in this project will be natural oils, in keeping with


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513374/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2279644 Studentship EP/R513374/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Euan George Kendall